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Operations data science, scaling excellence

By Carlos Gomes
Carlos Gomes
Passionate about Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics and Operations Research, and is also thrilled by Alexander McQueen dark motifs.
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Operations data science, scaling excellence
When you think of Data Science, you don’t immediately think of Operations or Supply Chain Management. At Farfetch we started by Product and Marketing, but the need to build advanced analytics and data science capabilities emerged in our Operations group.

On the one hand, we have one of the biggest groups of the company - in part due to the high number of processes that we have designed to serve our customers and due to the complexity of our Service Supply Chain. On the other hand, as a marketplace, Farfetch doesn’t own inventory, but still controls and manages a global supply chain that offers over 335 000 luxury items from over 989 partners to customers in over 190 countries. An intricate supply chain that gets ever more complex as we localise and increase our service offering range (i.e., shipping services, payment providers).

Our mission in the Operations Data Science group is to Scale Excellence, serving and offering our Customers a better experience. We believe a fast and consistent service is vital to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

We believe there are two main levers to add value through Data Science in our Supply Chain:
  • Fostering a culture of pervasive automation, by adding intelligence to our tools to either avoid, assist or entirely automate decision making. We strongly believe that mundane decision making should be done by the machines, letting our teams focus on the real value added work. By doing so, we expect to increase agility and reduce waiting times. Often customers spend time waiting, either for their calls to be picked or emails to be answered. If we have our algorithms to provide an initial response or just prioritise each case accordingly - the time to resolve the most important questions will be reduced.
  • Enhance customer expectations management. We believe that satisfaction is the result of meeting customer expectations. If we improve our predictability and communicate better with customers, we will be providing them with a better service. Predicting how long their orders will take to arrive or if proactively reach out to customers instead of reacting to their questions, we will be excelling and providing customers with the luxury service Farfetch strives to offer - besides raising the bar for everyone else and ourselves.
This is our vision at the moment. Our team is growing fast (we’re hiring!) but with a great focus on delivering an excellent service to our customers and internal stakeholders. We hope to be posting our learnings real soon as we move forward.
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